Thursday, 4 February 2010

Bellac and about

You have been very good, trudging through acres of not very purple prose, so you deserve a few more pictures to cheer you up. These are from Bellac and around

(see my earlier Blog concerning the Anglican Use)

The great treasure of Bellac church is a wonderful early Limoges reliquary containing relics of their patrons, SS Israel and Theobald.
The harsh blue lines, alas, are part of the protective surround to the reliquary.

Good to find Our Lady of Fatima in residence, too, with the three little visionaries at her feet. Some of us are off to see her in Portugal this May; the day of the apparitions coincides with Ascension Day, and the Holy Father is making his first visit there as Pope.

Have you booked yet with Fr Malcolm Gray?

You might be too late, I fear.

In a nearby church are some wonderful misericords, and these cheery chaps sit on the ends of one of the stalls;

SS Peter and Paul, I believe.

There is a station - railway, that is - at Bellac (on the line north from Limoges) and the valley is dominated by a wonderful piece of 19th Century engineering; very reminiscent of what dear Isambard Kingdom Brunel did across the more awkward parts of Cornwall. Just now there are protests against the LGV (highspeed line) which is proposed to cut through very near here and make a fast link with the TGV at Limoges. All too likely that they will wreck the view of the Viaduct, just as the barbarian roadbuilders did when they put their pathetic bridge alongside Brunel's final masterpiece, the Tamar rail bridge. Oh, and of course Brunel's father was French, and built the first tunnel under the Thames. But that can wait for another day (when I go to Rotherhithe later this year).

Then a couple of further details from the church of Bellac: St Radegund (patron Saint of wives with impossible husbands - hard to imagine she's much needed? - feast day, August 13th), and then another image of Our Lady perched over the marvellous font.

Click on the pictures for larger versions; and tomorrow, after an hour's painting class, it is off on the train to Birmingham to help celebrate St Agatha. Oh, the joys of retirement.

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